Phuket Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
After spending the morning wandering around south Patong, I headed out to Central Festival, a big shopping mall located just outside Phuket town. When I was here in January last year, it had not been open long and many of the shops were still empty. This time, all the shops were open but there wasn't much to see - it very clearly exists to cater to tourists. The Central department store is the cornerstone of the complex and, typically, is full of designer labels and luxury brands. There is a great little food court on the third floor that sells local food at local prices around 30 baht per dish. Most of the signs are only in Thai so a lot of pointing and gesticulating was required when ordering food.
After lunch, I decided I couldn't be bothered waiting out on the side of the road in the heat for the local bus back to Patong. I was going to take a tuk tuk but it turns out the shopping mall has it's own taxi service, with airconditioned cars, and the price was only slightly higher than the tuk tuk price. So I went with the wussier (and more comfortable) option.
After I arrived back at the hotel, I decided it would be a good time to go for a nice two hour Thai oil massage. That way, I could fit another one in before I leave on Monday. You have to give your muscles at least 3 days to recover from a Thai massage!
I caught the hotel shuttle into Patong and went to this nice little massage place I'd discovered last January. The prices have only gone up 50 baht in the last 18 months - 750 baht (about $18). This place, Thai Oriental Massage, is actually part of the Deevana Resort. I stayed there last January, when I had to rebook hotels because the one I was going to stay in had been almost completely destroyed by the tsunami.
The rooms are very clean and the masseuses are professionally trained. It's wise to avoid the really cheap massage places, or the sidewalk/beach places, because often the women doing the massage are not properly trained and can actually end up really hurting you. After two wonderfully relaxing hours (I nearly fell asleep on the table), and smelling a bit like an orange orchard, I was ready to hit the sack.